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Russian Fraudster Jailed After 60,000 Single Game Win

Tags: Palm Beach casino, poker fraud, Russia, Valeriy Mikhaylets.
Posted on 14 June 2016 by "T".

This poker player from Moscow is now behind bars (for a mere four months) after he was found cheating casino rivals out of almost £60,000 in a single game of Texas Hold'em poker by using sleight of hand and ‘sandpaper' at an exclusive London casino.

Russian Valeriy Mikhaylets, age 57, pleaded guilty to one count of cheating at gambling at Southwark Crown Court on June 2, 2016. On the night of November 30 and December 1, 2014, he conned fellow players out of £57,025 at the Palm Beach casino in Mayfair, London.

Some of his techniques included using sleight of hand in order to hold cards back from previous hands, and then use them at a later time to his advantage. Also, he used sandpaper to smooth out the edges of some cards in an effort to ‘mark' them so he would be able to recognize them from afar.

However, he was already placed under suspicion for his shady activities in competitions at Palm Beach casino in the weeks prior to his winning the five-figure amount. When he returned to the casino on January 26, 2015, he was arrested for fraud - after the CCTVs were checked and when there was over £140,000 worth of winnings that had been paid into his account. Police found the playing cards, dice and the sandpaper he used in his con. They also found in his possession two casino membership cards - one named to him and another in someone else's name, as well as £2,000 in cash.

Mikhaylets, who works as a deputy director of a Moscow-based construction company, was imprisoned for four months after he admitted to cheating in poker.
Through a Russian translator, Mikhaylets nodded on his sentence and was led down to his cell.

Judge Alistair McCreath said to him, "Those who cheat at gambling as you did should, it seems to me, face two consequences of that. The first is that they should have a proportionate punishment for it and secondly that they should have their money taken from them. Not just the money they win but the money that was part and parcel of the whole gambling enterprise. You have been punished proportionately and you have been hit in your pocket which is precisely where you should be hit for committing this sort of financial crime."

Mikayhets, after being arrested in January 2015, skipped bail and fled Britain. On April 9, he was eventually held on a European arrest warrant for crossing from Russia to Finland and then later extradited to the UK where he was charged. It is expected that he will be deported back to Russia at the end of his sentence.

He was ordered to pay back a total of £193,718.75, with the breakdown: an £86,000 fine, £57,025 in compensation, a Deprivation Order of £50,000 and £893.75 in costs.

Detective Constable Mat Wake of the Met's Serious and Organised Crime Command, stated, "Valeriy Mikhaylets was an accomplished cheat who made just short of £60,000 profit in one poker game using sleight of hand. His sentence should act as a deterrent for those considering committing similar offences in London's casinos."



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9 comments on "Russian Fraudster Jailed After 60,000 Single Game Win"

 doubletop77714/06/2016 08:42:42 GMT
I am glad this guy got caught but am disappointed in that he only got four months. Sadly, there will always be people willing to cheat when there are vast amounts of money involved
 pajalnick14/06/2016 09:06:21 GMT
that's why I do not play poker in real life. You can easily sit at the same table with a fraud and not notice it .. and think that just unlucky ... well that he was caught badly that he probably will continue to play and to deceive other people .. this time in Russia ...
 qwertolog14/06/2016 13:48:52 GMT
It's interesting how all the players will remember the figure to cheat the casino, and it is interesting how many of them do so and that is never revealed. While on the one hand and the casino cheating and too much so that when they cheated no great loss.
Four months will pass and he will continue to play again..
 Ingrind3314/06/2016 14:55:02 GMT
familiar story. sounds like that sketchy guy Phil Ivey,
Phil probably cheated in different ways, one for example: pays one or more dudes to win chips from him/them to get an advantage in a poker tournament. or whatever scheme he used, I saw from the start that this guy has no honor.

 crankmuppet14/06/2016 15:52:36 GMT
When he gets tired of cheating at poker, he can become a professional impersonator.

Best Dr. Evil ever!

"Mini-Me, no, we don't gnaw on our kitty. Leave Mini- no! Leave Mini-Mr. Bigglesworth alone. Just love him, stroke him."

 tropical15/06/2016 15:22:40 GMT
I would be a gangster myself if i had his mug. Who can blame him?
Life itself is a ponzi. All rules are made up. Nothing matters. Marks get conned.
Live with it. Be more aware and you decrease your odds of getting scammed.
In the end who cares. Better luck next time russian guy.
 mascona11/07/2016 23:57:43 GMT
he has such a friendly and trustful smile...
 bowie198425/07/2016 00:10:29 GMT
Posted by pajalnick:
that's why I do not play poker in real life. You can easily sit at the same table with a fraud and not notice it .. and think that just unlucky ...

It's not like you could spot the online cheaters on any given moment either...
 Calmplay26/07/2016 06:37:41 GMT
haha the face itself looks a suspicious one and I hope the victims will get their cash back as we have the CCTVs there to see who were them...

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